When travelling to Canada, you may want to bring finances with you to help you enjoy your stay. But, when you are immigrating to Canada as a permanent resident, this is critical to helping you start your new life. There are some rules and restrictions you should keep in mind when bringing money or financial instruments into Canada and here, our Ottawa and Orleans doctors explain more.
Whether you are travelling to Canada as a vacation, to visit family or for work, you will probably want to bring some money or financial instruments (such as cash, traveller's cheques, or a traveller's debit card) into the country with you in order to fund your trip! And while there are some rules surrounding bringing large amounts of money into Canada, they may not apply for shorter trips of even a couple of months.
But, when immigrating to Canada as a permanent resident, these rules become much more important. Many people who are travelling to Canada to live there permanently will need to bring greater amounts of money and other financial instruments (such as stocks, bonds, bank drafts, or cheques) with them to help set themselves up for success in their new home country. In cases like this, knowing the rules around bringing money across the Canadian border will be invaluable to saving you hassle, and possibly even having your assets seized!
CBSA Rules on Importing or Exporting Money in Canada
The Canada Border Services Agency (or CBSA), is responsible for enforcing rules on moving money or financial instruments across the Canadian border.
Anyone crossing out of or into Canada bearing more than $10 000 CAD of money (in any currency) and financial instruments (like cheques, stocks, bonds, or bank transfers) combined is required to declare that they are doing so when crossing the border.
The failure to declare the amount of money you are bringing into or out of Canada can result in fines and the seizure of all currency and financial instruments, returning them when it is confirmed that they aren't intended for illegal use.
You declare if you are bearing over $10 000 CAD at two different points into your travel into Canada:
CBSA Declaration Card
If you are travelling by plane or some other method that provides you with a CBSA Declaration Card, this will be your opportunity to declare whether or not you have over $10 000 CAD inb currency or financial instruments travelling with you.
Make sure you check "Yes" on this card if you are travelling with this much money.
Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report
This is a much longer form provided online and in-person by the CBSA. This is a comprehensive report asks you to fill out: the country and names of the currency you have, including each individual amount, and the financial instruments, including type, issuing date, name, any other identifying information, and the value of each.
While you can fill out this form when you are at the Canadian Border, it is best to complete it online and fill it our ahead of time to save yourself and the CBSA officers at the border some time.
This report can be filled out for money and financial instruments that you are carrying on your person when crossing the border, but also needs to be used if your money is being transferred by courier or mail as well.
When making preparations for transferring currency or financial instruments to Canada before your immigration into the country, make sure that you ask your bank about what form you will need to fill out and what the appropriate method of submitting it is in your particular case.
How Much Money Can I Bring To Canada?
As long as you properly declare all of the currency and financial instruments that you are bringing into the country, there is no limit on the amount of money you can bring with you into Canada.
However, some countries restrict the amount of money that can be taken out of them at one time.
In cases where there are provable restrictions on the amount of money you can transfer out of your former country, the CBSA can work with you to provide with up to 3 years to import goods from your former country with the money you are declaring.
Make sure you ask your bank about any restrictions that may exist in your current country of residence before your immigration into Canada. They will be able to advise you on any restrictions as well as strategies for working with the CBSA to ensure you can keep as much of your personal finances as possible during your move to Canada.